The Bartlett School of Planning

Dr Catalina Turcu

Dr Catalina Turcu

Senior Lecturer

The Bartlett School of Planning

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2010

Research summary

Unique researcher ID (ORCID): 0000-0003-2663-2586

I am an expert on energy, housing and indicators in planning and urban sustainability debates, with a particular focus on their social and governance aspects. In the last 5 years I have published 12 papers in peer reviewed journals, 5 book chapters and 10 other papers and reports. I work at the moment on two book projects: Behaviour by Design/ Design by Behaviour (Routledge) and Neighborhoods through Change 2007-2017: An intimate story of housing, deprivation and urban sustainability (OUP). I am also interested in industry and policy applications of my research and work closely with cities across Europe, including Sweden and Denmark; Romania, Hungary, Poland; but also UK, France and Germany.  I employ both quantitative and qualitative methods in my research, and conceptually I draw on social, political and planning theory.

Teaching summary

My teaching philosophy draws on a dialogue between theory and practice based knowledge. I currently teach at the postgraduade level and convene the following modules:

  • Sustainable Urban Development: Key Themes

  • Sustainable Urban Development: Project

  • Personal Research: SU Major Projects

I have also lectured within the following modules:

  • Governance for Urban Sustainability: Key Debates (UCL, postgrad) 
  • Green Futures (UCL, undergrad)
  • Making cities: the production of the built environment (UCL, undergrad)
  • Urban Poverty and Social Exclusion (LSE, undergrad)
  • International Housing and Social Change (LSE, postgrad)
  • Urban and Planning Policy (UAUIM, undergrad)
  • Public Administration and Urban Management (UAUIM, postgrad)
  • Building Materials: Part I and Part II (UAUIM, undergrad) 


University College London
PGCLTHE, Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional) | 2014
London School of Economics and Political Science
PhD, Social and Political Sciences | 2010
London School of Economics and Political Science
MSc, Housing | 2001
Universitatea din Bucuresti
MAST, Architecture and Urbanism | 1999
Universitatea din Bucuresti
DipArch, Architecture | 1996
Universitatea din Bucuresti
B.Arch, Architecture | 1993


I am Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Sustainable Development and Planning and Programme Director for MSc Sustainable Urbanism at University College London in the UK. I see myself as an architect and social scientist, and I hold degrees in: public policy (PhD ,LSE 2010), housing (MSc Dist, LSE 2001 ), planning (MA Dist, UAUIM 1999) and architecture (BArch DipArch, UAUIM 1998). Prior to joining academia in 2010, I worked as an architect and urban consultant for 10 years. Before that, I held a lectureship position at the University of Architecture in Bucharest, where I also set up my own architectural practice, ZONA Architects. I am a registered architect with ARB (UK) and OAR (Romania), and a member of RIBA (UK).

I am an URBACT and EU expert; an academic examiner for University of Hertforshire and research evaluator for FORMAS and VINNOVA (Swedish Research Council); Norwegian Research Council; and ESRC, EPSRC and UKERC (UK Research Councils). I have been invited to lecture at Oxford University, London School of Economics, Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology, Gothenburg University, TU Delft, Columbia University, RMIT Melbourne, Seoul National University, TU Wroclaw Technical University, TU Berlin and University of Architecture Bucharest. To date, I have supervised five doctoral researchers and more that 40 MSc students.